The Mirthless - a graphic novel segment

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A graphic novel pastiche segment about a Bill Hicks/Lenny Bruce-type stand-up comedian in an oppressive Sin City/V For Vendetta-type America. He Is nearly killed by a government operative on stage because of his “dissident” ways and when his friend Spillane is killed by a lone gunman he has the overwhelming urge to go vigilante. Problem is he doesn’t know his killer and the people responsible are behind the curtain of politics. Like Batman, he knows he shouldn’t kill, and he decides to start a revolution with his words and humour. He later goes round wearing a warped laughing Buddha mask in an aim to at least frighten various notable politicians.

I'd love to see somebody illustrate a panel or two, but i have no expectations of course.

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INT. BACKSTAGE - EVENING (PANEL 1)

MARK MIGNOLA, 32, neck length black hair and dark stubble, looks like an alien to the planet; he vibrates like a ball of barely contained electricity. He peeks at the three-thousand strong audience through the curtains.

MIGNOLA
Smell’s like fresh revolt mixed
with fear-soaked wool grease.

MALE VOICE
Hey Mig, there’s a letter for you.

INT. BACKSTAGE - EVENING (PANEL 2)

MIGNOLA takes the letter from a rough, hairy-knuckled hand.

INT. BACKSTAGE - EVENING (PANEL 3)

MIGNOLA sits in half-darkness, eyes marble black, glaring at the letter in his left hand.

INT. BACKSTAGE - EVENING (PANEL 4)

We get a close-up of his marble black eyes and furrowed brow.

MIGNOLA
The unspeakable.

INT. STAGE - DAY (PANEL 5)

MIGNOLA stands on stage with a microphone in his right hand and his other hand gesturing in a grabbing motion.

MIGNOLA
So, we have an indefatigable moron
in office. Not just your average moron
by the way. Oh no, a Renaissance
Moron ladies and gentlemen.

INT. STAGE - EVENING (PANEL 6)

A colt pistol emerges from the dark pits of the crowd.

INT. STAGE - EVENING (PANEL 7)

BAM!

MIGNOLA’s right shoulder blade is impacted by a bullet. Blood sprays in still motion. His face a thousand strains. His body a thousand contortions.

Holy shit! (audience reactions)

INT. STAGE - EVENING (PANEL 8)

Half of MIGNOLA’s face dwells in a pool of his own fresh blood.

MIGNOLA
The unspeakable.

INT. HOSPITAL - EVENING (PANEL 9)

MIGNOLA sits up, shoulder/arm bandaged, right fist clenched in the air, face a hundred strains.

MIGNOLA
Enervated by unmerciful hot metal
they no longer shoot to kill. Their
aim is as bad as their failure to
pinpoint their own dysfunction.

INT. HOSPITAL - EVENING (PANEL 10)

TV SCREEN: the face of a trout-faced female reporter, eyes like pigeons.

REPORTER
Mark Mignola, the controversial
stand-up comedian was shot by
a faceless gunman this evening
in what appears to be an
assassination attempt.

TV SCREEN (PANEL 11)

REPORTER
Mignola is said to be doing well at
Fabian hospital, suffering from a
shoulder wound.

INT. FABIAN HOSPITAL - EVENING (PANEL 12)

Two glowering black eyes.

MIGNOLA
I’ll give them a new meaning to
the word stand-up.

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 13)

MIGNOLA stands on a subway train with SPILLANE, 34, razor-sharp bald head, tall, menacing-looking and wearing a long overcoat.

SPILLANE
Somebody didn’t find one
of your jokes too funny.

MIGNOLA
It wasn’t a joke.

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 14)

The emergence of a familiar colt pistol.

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 15)

MIGNOLA is looking down at the floor thinking. SPILLANE is looking at MIGNOLA, concerned.

SPILLANE
You’re not dissident enough to
merit an assassination attempt
- I don’t get it.

MIGNOLA
My language is dissident enough.
I’m an egalitarian daemon to the
establishment…

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 16)

BAM! A FLASH

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 17)

SPILLANE holds his ruptured gut with both hands.

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 18)

MIGNOLA’s eyes flash in terror.

INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - EVENING (PANEL 19)

A wide smile appearance of the pitiless gun-totting fiend. Facially Joker-esque, without the make-up. Wild eyes, pale scaly white skin.

INT. APARTMENT - EVENING (PANEL 20)

A letter that says in capitals YOUR FRIEND IS A SITTING DUCK.

INT. APARTMENT - EVENING (PANEL 21)

Two firm hands scrunch up the paper.

INT. FUNERAL - DAY (PANEL 22)

Black people-shadows oversee the placement of a casket into the open ground. Thick rain falls.

MIGNOLA
I postulate government involvement.
Stinks of serpentine aversion.
Welcome to the expunged society.
Bye dear friend.

A PAIR OF EYES ILLUMINATED IN DARKNESS (PANEL 25)

MIGNOLA
They’re trying to invade my
Inner Republic. Trying to burn
down the sacrosanct within me.

A TEAR UNDER AN EYE ILLUMINATED IN DARKNESS (PANEL 23)

MIGNOLA
It’s time to unleash the lave
of my Recalcitrant Army.

A HAND ON A GUN ILLUMINATED IN DARKNESS (PANEL 24)

MIGNOLA
Each bullet forged from my
own inner furnace. For you Spillane.

TV SCREEN: The words ‘The Frank Lloyd Show’ on the screen (PANEL 25)

INT. TV STUDIO - EVENING (PANEL 26)

FRANK LLOYD, 53, the David Letterman of oppressed America; a face like a dry apricot.

FRANK
Ladies and gentleman, my guest
of honour tonight is Deputy Chief
of Staff to Bill Sizemore; Gregory
Stevenson.

Claps and whistles.

A PAIR OF ANGRY EYES ILLUMINATED IN DARKNESS (PANEL 27)

MIGNOLA
The Deputy Chief of the
Super State Agenda.

EXT. OUTSIDE TV STUDIO - EVENING (PANEL 28)

A black Mercedes awaits surrounded by the blur and merge of one-hundred people approx.

INT. OUTSIDE TV STUDIO - EVENING (PANEL 29)

Amongst the crowd is MIGNOLA, wearing black shades and a long black overcoat.

MIGNOLA
I’ll give him a sting he’ll
never forget.

INT. OUTSIDE TV STUDIO - EVENING (PANEL 30)

The emergence of a gun.

MIGNOLA
Two dum-dums in the chest.

INT. OUTSIDE TV STUDIO - EVENING (PANEL 31)

GREGORY STEVENSON, 56, expressionless with pointy Leprechaun ears, appears walking towards the Mercedes.

INT. OUTSIDE TV STUDIO - EVENING (PANEL 32)

A gun emerges from inside the coat.

MIGNOLA
The bloodline of a family
of snakes. Hot bullet to cold flesh.

INT. ALLEYWAY - EVENING (PANEL 33)

MIGNOLA leans against a wall with both hands, looking down at the floor, in a dark alleyway.

MIGNOLA
I’m losing my sense of humour.
God dammit, I mustn’t become them.

INT. ALLEYWAY - EVENING (PANEL 34)

He lights a match.

MIGNOLA
A flame from the ether. A flame
burning up matter. I have many
matches. Many flames. Many
fires to fuel. To fuel my headstrong lust…

HE LIGHTS A CIGARETTE (PANEL 35)

MIGNOLA
…lust for vengeance of the
comedic kind. Dancing to…

HE TAKES A SMOOTH DRAG (PANEL 36)

MIGNOLA
…the sound of laughter.
The laughter of…

HE GRINS WIDE (PANEL 37)

MIGNOLA
…the big-bellied Buddha.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 38)

MIGNOLA holds a mask of a laughing Buddha in one hand.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 39)

The punky, youthful shopkeeper recognises MIGNOLA with a glint.

SHOPKEEPER
I do know you.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 40)

MIGNOLA looks angry at the shopkeeper.

MIGNOLA
Nobody knows anyone.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 41)

A close-up of the shopkeepers’ giddy mouth.

SHOPKEEPER
You’re Mark “the mirthless” Mignola.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 42)

A sarcastic grin is planted on MIGNOLA’s face.

MIGNOLA
Say that again kid.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 43)

SHOPKEEPER
Yeah, Frank Lloyd called you
“the mirthless”. I don’t get It myself…

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 44)

MIGNOLA looks at the laughing Buddha mask again.

SHOPKEEPER
I loved your joke about Sizemore…
the indefatigable moron. Too funny.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 45)

MIGNOLA places the mask on the counter.

MIGNOLA
It wasn’t a joke.

SHOPKEEPER
Meh.

INT. MASQUERADE SHOP - DAY (PANEL 46)

A close-up of the laughing Buddha mask.

MIGNOLA
Why make a joke of a joke?
The joke has already been told.

DARKNESS (PANEL 47)

The confused, tired face of MIGNOLA, pupils black, senses heightened.

MIGNOLA
How will I ever find my friends
killer without stepping in front
of the unblinking eye at the top
of the capstone? All I have is
remnants and shards of a
holistic hate.

HE WEARS THE BUDDHA MASK (PANEL 48)

MIGNOLA
I am an explorer of the unconscious
a shaman with a black sense of humour.
A black sense threatening to turn into
black hate. They may be clever…

DARKNESS (PANEL 49)

MIGNOLA
But they have no soul…

A MATCH IS LIT IN THE DARKNESS (PANEL 50)

MIGNOLA
…no inner sanctuary. Only…

THE SMILING MASK OF BUDDHA (PANEL 51)

MIGNOLA
…the left-over’s of their victims
rotting…

THE FLAME BURNS THE SULPHUR (PANEL 52)

MIGNOLA
…rotting in the basement of their
own psyches. The stench of…

THE FLAME GOES OUT (PANEL 53)

MIGNOLA
…sulphuric odium.


Created: May 14, 2010

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